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technically speaking
a short guide to basic cooking 
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continued from page 1

definition | To cook in a small amount of hot oil (butter and olive oil are the most commonly used fats) over direct heat.
equipment | A shallow, wide pan (skillet or sauté pan), often with a non-stick coating; stove. Spatula (plastic if using a non-stick pan).
advantages | Small bits of food can be quickly cooked; keeps food moist and flavorful; can crisp a coating.
most often used for | Chopped vegetables, thin pieces of meat or seafood.

definition | Chinese method of cooking, similar to sautéing. Small, bite-sized pieces of food are stirred rapidly and quickly cooked over a very high heat in a small amount of oil (generally vegetable or peanut).
equipment | Wok, a large, deep, (traditionally) round-bottomed cooking vessel with a domed cover (modern woks sometimes have flat bottoms); stove. Metal spatula.
advantages | Quickly cooks small bits of food; keeps food crisp, moist and flavorful.
most often used for | Chopped vegetables, small pieces of meat or seafood, often mixed together.

water-based techniques
definition | To drop food into boiling water and cook very briefly (not quite all the way through).
equipment | a large pot; stove. Strainer or slotted spoon.
advantages | Keeps the color of foods, particularly vegetables, bright; partially cooks food so that it won’t get overcooked when added to simmering sauces.
most often used for | Vegetables whose color you wish to retain; foods that will be cooked further with other ingredients can be blanched to speed up cooking time.

definition | To cook food in hot oil first, such that the exterior has begun to brown, before adding enough liquid to cover the food and cook it slowly over low heat (up to several hours).
equipment | A large heavy-bottomed pot; stove.
advantages | Results in very moist, very flavorful foods; when cooked in liquid flavored with spices and seasonings, allows the flavors to mix well and intensify with cooking time. Can turn tough (cheaper) cuts of meat quite tender.
most often used for | Meats cooked with vegetables, as in stews, goulashes, and the like.

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